Hoklo on Luzon (Philippines Hokkien), reports from the field

Discussions on the Hokkien (Minnan) language.
haroldmanila
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Re: Hoklo on Luzon (Philippines Hokkien), reports from the f

Postby haroldmanila » Sat Jul 02, 2011 2:14 am

Here in Manila,

"hoanna" comes from the word "hoan" it means barbaric or uneducated.

"lan-nang-oe" comes from the words "lan" + "nang" + "oe"

"lan" - we
"nang" or "lang" - human
"oe" - language

"lan-nang-oe" means "we human language"

so when you converse to another chinese, you are indicating that "we human" while they are barbarian. which is a form of bigotry.

My education is up to the secondary level only and stopped on the second year. So, my mandarin is very limited. I can say up to the level of grade 1 or grade 2. But I have learned a lot from the people I mingled with so that I try to learn things that will not offend other people. Because I don't want people to offend me also. Its okay if those people doesn't know. we can understand their situation. I am not angry, but I hope I shed some light to some of our beliefs and understanding about the country that adopted us. I don't know if thats the case in other hokkien speaking countries.

SimL
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Re: Hoklo on Luzon (Philippines Hokkien), reports from the f

Postby SimL » Sat Jul 02, 2011 2:29 am

Hi haroldmanila,

Thanks for your explanations. They make sense, in that each language (or variant) defines what is polite, or friendly, or offensive, etc.

There was a bit of discussion here a few months ago, and the general conclusion was that in Malaysia/Singapore (at any rate), "hoanna" would not be considered offensive. From what initially could be considered an offensive word, usage has made it acceptable.

BTW, this is quite a common phenomenon in language. Something which starts innocent may develop shades of offensiveness, and what starts out as (even deliberately) offensive may lose its offensiveness and even become positive. The Dutch word "geus" is one example of the latter (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geuzen, under the heading "Origin of the name"). In some circles in the US, the "n-word" is used by black people, for themselves, in a sort of "reverse psychology", and in (some/many) gay and lesbian circles, the word "queer" has undergone a similar transformation from negative to positive.

I think you'll find that people on this Forum are very respectful of differences of opinion, and careful about the sensitivities of others. I hope you feel welcome here, and look forward to further contributions from you.

Have a good weekend,
SimL

PS. After writing the above, I re-read bits of the "Geuzen" article, and clicked on one of the links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reappropriation#Linguistic_reappropriation, which explains even more about this linguistic phenomenon. [What can't one find on Wikipedia these days!]

haroldmanila
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Re: Hoklo on Luzon (Philippines Hokkien), reports from the f

Postby haroldmanila » Sat Jul 02, 2011 3:14 am

oh, no problem or offense here.

I am just, like explaining.

And feel that I am welcome here.
But I am pretty sure if you ask any chinese from the Manila, preferably 40years old and above they would explain the same.

You people seem to be analyzing chinese people of different origins and immigrants.

May I know from what country the people in this group comes from?

here in our country of achipelago, there are more 7,000 islands and about 120 diffrent dialects. when a traditional chinese decides to live in the province, of course, they don't want their chinese roots be diminished. So, they adapt, most of the parents require their children to speak fookien in the house, no other language is accepted. Because, when their children is outside the house they will mingle with the other children thereby learning the language of that new place. So, if, like my brother who decides to live in Zamboanga City with her Chinese Chavano wife, he adapts also, like her wife. Now my brother knows how to speak Chavano and mixes it with Fookien when he and his wife are talking. Yes, looks like regional but you can talk to almost all of them with the Fookien used in Manila. Of course, with some variations also like fookien mixing with cantonese and mandarin.

SimL
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Re: Hoklo on Luzon (Philippines Hokkien), reports from the f

Postby SimL » Sat Jul 02, 2011 4:32 am

Hi haroldmanila,

I'm glad you feel welcome and comfortable here. I found it very interesting to read your description of the attitudes the Chinese in the Philippines have towards Hokkien (and towards Mandarin, in your other posts). It's very heart-warming to hear how committed they are to preserving Hokkien. It's quite different from what we've seen (and complained about) in Singapore, (large parts of) Malaysia, and (some parts of) Taiwan.

I was born in Kedah (a state of Malaysia), grew up in Penang and Australia, and have been living in the Netherlands for the last 20 years. I have a Baba background on my father's side, and a Sin-Kheh background on my mother's side. The Baba side is Penang Hokkien speaking, and the Sin-Kheh side is "Amoyish" speaking.

amhoanna
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Re: Hoklo on Luzon (Philippines Hokkien), reports from the f

Postby amhoanna » Mon Jul 04, 2011 5:22 pm

you're inspired to learn Tagalog. Knowing you, you'll do it in the next 5 years too! You're amazing :P!

Thanks for giving me a time limit, Sim. It helps. :P

In the past I felt that Pinoy languages were all hard, and in some sense maybe they are, but, going back to Luzon recently with a new working knowledge of Malay, Tagalog seemed really learnable. I could "feel" what some of the signs were saying.

But I just search the internet and i think you call it "bopomofo". I grew up knowing this is the chinese alphabet, so when my child ask me words in pinyin i can't answer right away.

I grew up with the bopomofo too. So did my parents. My grandparents don't know it and I hope neither will my kids. :mrgreen:

so when you converse to another chinese, you are indicating that "we human" while they are barbarian. which is a form of bigotry.

I've got to salute your cengsin, the spirit of what U're saying. Chinese the world over tend to be guilty of this kind of thing. That said, I interpret "Lảnlảng'oẹ" to mean "we people's language". I don't think it implies that other people, or "them people", are not people or are inferior in some way.

To me, "hoanna" is also something that must be embraced. At core, it means "outsider", or "person unversed in a certain culture", and I embrace these things.

The word Hoklo or forms of it are mainly used in the Haihong area in China, between Hong Kong and Swatow; and also in Taiwan as of the last couple decades. A lady I met from Swatow also mentioned the word in a conversation. She said her ethnic Teochew exchange students from Thailand sometimes referred to the Teochew language as Hoklo.

To answer your question, Harold, goa si Tai Oan lang. When it comes to language and Hoklo, I have a much more politicized outlook than the other dudes on this forum. I thought it was just me, but I took a spin on Twitter the other night and it was so obvious that Hoklo is politically charged for Taiwanese people, but not for people from other countries.

So, they adapt, most of the parents require their children to speak fookien in the house, no other language is accepted.

Interesting.

Yes, looks like regional but you can talk to almost all of them with the Fookien used in Manila. Of course, with some variations also like fookien mixing with cantonese and mandarin.

Could U tell us more about the language as it's spoken around the Phils? I know in the Bisayas they mix in Bisayan words, but, aside from that, how does their Hokkien sound to U? And who tends to mix in Cantonese? Everybody, or just Cantonese people? Or people in certain towns?

Goa bantai ka-i Huilippin e Hokkien-oe.

SimL
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Re: Hoklo on Luzon (Philippines Hokkien), reports from the f

Postby SimL » Mon Jul 04, 2011 10:52 pm

amhoanna wrote:In the past I felt that Pinoy languages were all hard, and in some sense maybe they are, but, going back to Luzon recently with a new working knowledge of Malay, Tagalog seemed really learnable. I could "feel" what some of the signs were saying.

I read in an article that Tagalog is considerably more complex grammatically than Malay, and that is because Tagalog has been a native language of an ethnic group for a very long time, whereas Malay originally arose as a lingua franca (albeit, from the same base as Tagalog), and, in line with many lingua francas, hence has a hugely simplified grammar.

amhoanna wrote:
But I just search the internet and i think you call it "bopomofo". I grew up knowing this is the chinese alphabet, so when my child ask me words in pinyin i can't answer right away.

I grew up with the bopomofo too. So did my parents. My grandparents don't know it and I hope neither will my kids. :mrgreen:

Oh, you're the first person of Taiwanese background I've heard say this. Why don't you like it and what are your feelings about pinyin? [I've never mastered bopomofo and hence have no opinion on it. One of my (maternal, non-Baba) uncles - who is very "pro-Chinese-but-anti-PRC" - is a big fan of bopomofo. He claims that people who learn Mandarin through bopomofo get far better accents than those who do it through pinyin. It goes without saying that he hates simplified characters as well...]

haroldmanila
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Re: Hoklo on Luzon (Philippines Hokkien), reports from the f

Postby haroldmanila » Tue Jul 05, 2011 12:58 pm

yes, personally for me "bopomofo" taught me how to speak mandarin the right way.


" He claims that people who learn Mandarin through bopomofo get far better accents than those who do it through pinyin."


I get goosebumps when I hear my child reading and studying in mandarin using pinyin, as if they haven't have a hint of chinese blood in them. But from time to time I correct my child in pronouncing the mandarin words. I would let her hear chinese songs then word for word I will empahasize to her how to pronounce it the right way.


For me, I think pinyin is made to introduced chinese language in english form thereby letting other nation to easily adapt and embraced the language. Like in computer, making it language friendly.

Actually tagalog is also easy to learn. Because it is in english form like its alphabet is adopted in the english alphabet.
About the "hoanna" thing. It is hard to reject the notion here in the Philippines that it means "barbarian" even though the real meaning is "outsiders". which I know outsiders in fookien is "gua lang" or "gua kok lang". Its like this, here in the Philippines the accepted word for cameras is "Kodak" we use it as a verb. Like " Hold still, I will Kodak you" or "Hold still, I will take a picture of you" in true sense. Just like our toothpaste we call it "Colgate", and so on. So when you ask any "hua kiaw lang" here they tell you that "hoanna" means "barbarian" or "street people" which means either a snatcher, holdaper or a poor person without schooling.

Regarding the mixing of hokkien with other language. Here in the Philippines, we chinese are very very versatile, when we are in a Bisayan province we adapt it and mix it with hookien, just like in the north, Ilocanos we also mix with it. There are a lot of dialects here in the Philippines because maybe of its geography. Dialects like Waray (different style of Bisaya), Illongo( another different Bisaya), Ilocano, Kapangpangan, Pangalatok (combination of Ilocano and Kapangpangan) and many more, these are just some of the major dialects in the Philippines, theres also the language of muslims, but Tagalog is the base language of Filipino ( Tagalog plus other dialects including foreign language accepted as Filipino.)
I know in Mainland China, the dialects are also vast like here. even though I only know Mandarin,cantonese and hokkien as the 3 chinese language of chinese. I am pretty sure there are a lot more.

Here in Manila and in every part of this country some words of the cantonese are also being used. For example, every Chinese New year people would greet "kung hei fat choi" which I know is cantonese, because I know the hokkien of that is "tiong hee huat tsay" or in mandarin "sin ni khuay lo"

I am nor pro or anti of anything, mainland chinese and taiwanese for me is only one. As long as we live in this world peacefully.

siamiwako
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Re: Hoklo on Luzon (Philippines Hokkien), reports from the f

Postby siamiwako » Tue Jul 05, 2011 10:19 pm

haroldmanila wrote:" He claims that people who learn Mandarin through bopomofo get far better accents than those who do it through pinyin."

Interesting, but I think it all depends if you have a good instructor. If you have an instructor who pronounces bopomofo phonetics badly, you'll surely acquire the pronounciation very badly.

I've seen instructors say ㄙ一ˋ 一ㄤˊ for夕陽 and ㄙㄢ ㄇㄧㄥˊ ㄙㄨㄟˇ ㄙ一ㄡˋ for 山明水秀!
They emphasised the written "ㄒ" on the board by pronouncing it as "ㄙ" and "ㄕ" as "ㄙ"!

haroldmanila wrote:Actually tagalog is also easy to learn. Because it is in english form like its alphabet is adopted in the english alphabet.

I actually struggled this subject back then.

SimL
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Re: Hoklo on Luzon (Philippines Hokkien), reports from the f

Postby SimL » Tue Jul 05, 2011 11:43 pm

siamiwako wrote:Interesting, but I think it all depends if you have a good instructor. If you have an instructor who pronounces bopomofo phonetics badly, you'll surely acquire the pronounciation very badly.

Hah! You hit the nail on the head! I'm sure you're right about this point.

amhoanna
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Re: Hoklo on Luzon (Philippines Hokkien), reports from the f

Postby amhoanna » Thu Jul 07, 2011 12:03 am

Kamsia everyone. Sim, i think you're right re malay vs tagalog. Harold, thanks for the phrase hoakiaulang. I like it. Hope to learn more pinoy hoklo from Harold and Siamiwako.

I think a phonetic spelling system should both
A) be able to double as a writing system should the need arise, and
B) maximize linkages to other languages.

Bpmf completely strikes out here. It's also ugly. Why not adapt hiragana or hangeul? Even Pinyin does well objectively. I would agree that it's ugly. I acknowledge that there's sometying jarring about most East Asian languages done up in Roman writing. I agree with SMWK, I think both bpmf and pinyin are extremely accurate. I just hate the ideology behind bpmf. Innocently conceived? Maybe. But purposely maintained by vested interests at this pt, just like the roc (but not taiwan). And a poor use of kids' time. Why not hiragana, hangeul, pinyin, or even devanagari or arab script... 你中有我我中有你。

Yeleixingfeng
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Re: Hoklo on Luzon (Philippines Hokkien), reports from the f

Postby Yeleixingfeng » Thu Jul 07, 2011 2:23 pm

Amhoanna,

I tried using Hangeul... It is entirely possible, but it would be too compact to fit into a small square, especially the tensed 'k', 't', which in Hangeul is a doubled 'g'. Besides, ai has merged to 'e', thus we need to invent/combine to form a new jamo for ai.

And then there's the tone, further adding to the complexity.

Imagine everything in a small box.. Thau-hin5 la. >.<

Again, I'm not saying it's impossible.

amhoanna
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Re: Hoklo on Luzon (Philippines Hokkien), reports from the f

Postby amhoanna » Sat Jul 09, 2011 3:31 pm

Yelei, I think U're saying that hangeul couldn't be used for Mandarin w/o adding things to it and maybe changing a few things, and I think U are "obviously" right. Not sure what U mean by "small square".

Out of the scripts I mentioned, to the best of my knowledge, only romaji and Arab script have ever been adapted to write Mandarin. And only Arab script has ever been actually used to write Mandarin for communication, not decorative or educational, purposes. (I say "has been", but AFAIK it's still in use.)
Last edited by amhoanna on Sat Jul 09, 2011 3:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

amhoanna
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Re: Hoklo on Luzon (Philippines Hokkien), reports from the f

Postby amhoanna » Sat Jul 09, 2011 3:41 pm

I actually struggled this subject back then.

This is interesting! Learning Tagalog in a city where a Spanish creole is the go-to language.

I am nor pro or anti of anything, mainland chinese and taiwanese for me is only one.

This sentence makes me chuckle. For me, "Mainland" China and Taiwan and the Philippines are all only one, and all of Asia too, and the entire world, and the entire galaxy. Why this whole spat over undersea oil rights? We are all one. Whenever I meet someone who thinks China and the Philippines are not one, I wish I could eat their liver. I guess I'm "pro"-carnivorism. :P

SimL
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Re: Hoklo on Luzon (Philippines Hokkien), reports from the f

Postby SimL » Sun Jul 10, 2011 7:34 am

amhoanna wrote:Out of the scripts I mentioned, to the best of my knowledge, only romaji and Arab script have ever been adapted to write Mandarin. And only Arab script has ever been actually used to write Mandarin for communication, not decorative or educational, purposes. (I say "has been", but AFAIK it's still in use.)

Hi amhoanna,

Apparently, it was also written in cyrillic script, but in this case, not (quite) standard Mandarin. The article http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dungan_language says: "The modern Dungan language is the only spoken Chinese that is written in the Cyrillic alphabet, as they lived under the Soviet rule."

Ah-bin
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Re: Hoklo on Luzon (Philippines Hokkien), reports from the f

Postby Ah-bin » Sun Jul 10, 2011 10:43 am

This Dungan language is a kind of Western Mandarin, I used to own a book about it. It's almost like the Penang Hokkien of Kazakhstan, except that it has books, a newspaper and its own radio programming. I believe the kind of Chinese written in Arabic script was actually a kind of western Mandarin as well.

I used to own a book about Dungan, but I lent it to someone and never received it back. I know that person is going to be around the University next week though....

Anyway, the reason why I call it the Penang Hokkien of Kazakhstan is because it shares certain features in common with Penang Hokkien:

1) The retention of archaic vocabulary:
皇帝 - means "president"
衙門 - meand "government office"

2) Loans from Russian for new inventions
Traktor - tractor (can't remember any others)

3) A simplified tone system
There are only three tones in citation mode, the fourth appears in the first syllable of a compound through tone sandhi.

The language is written without tone marks, with words (rather than syllables) as the meaningful units, like the way Amhoanna writes his POJ, with the syllables stuck together as a single word.

This reminds me, one of the things I have to do all the time when speaking to Chinese who have learnt Engiish is correct their use of "Chinese words" rather than "chinese characters" for 漢字, which makes me wonder if they ever teach anything about how to describe Chinese things in English. It's interesting that few Chinese who speak fluent English (and few English learners of Chinese) realise that there are English equivalents for many Chinese things, such as 斤 - a catty (I realise this is from Malay).


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